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The Shadow Theory - Behind The Black Veil CD (album) cover


The Shadow Theory


Progressive Metal

3.60 | 53 ratings

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3 stars Great for metalheads, but only for them!

When a band or musician is good, you cannot put a doubt about it, however, being good does not necessarily means that the music will appeal to you. I've said this, because this has just happened to me with this album.

The Shadow Theory is a new band created by experienced musicians who have been part of other metal bands, such as Devon Graves, who I actually knew thanks to his role in "The Human Equation", and Kristoffer Gildenlow, known from Pain of Salvation. Their debut album released in 2010 is entitled "Behind the Black Veil" and features eleven songs that make a total time of 57 minutes.

The main problem I have when reviewing metal-related albums, is that I struggle a lot with myself, in order not to let my prejudges win, I mean, I sometimes am skeptic regarding this music, which is not really good for a reviewer, anyway, I have improved a lot on that subject, actually I can say I am more tolerant to this genre and have written decent reviews, I hope this time is the same.

The album kicks off with "I Open Up My Eyes", curiously, this first and the last track are the longest of the album. This song begins with some air and calm effects, but after a minute it explodes and produces that metalish guitar sound, what I like here, is the addition of the flute which actually gives a different perception of the music so I think it was a good decision to include it. The voice is nice, not my favorite, and I like more when it calms down along with the music.

"The Sound of Flies" has a good acoustic introduction but after some seconds all of a sudden the electric and powerful guitar appears, this is a good change but to my ears it is not enjoyable. Before minute three there is a nice keyboard solo. With "Ghostride" happens almost the same thing: acoustic guitar and a soft sound with cool synth effects, which later will disappear because a powerful and heavy metal sound takes over the song; here, also to my ears the vocals are horrible, unlistenable to me. All is a matter of tastes and subjectivity after all.

"Welcome" sounds good to me, though the formula may be the same: acoustic ? powerful, here the lyrics got stuck on my head and yeah, I sing. I don't know if it is good or bad for the band, but I felt attracted by the "chorus", and the music is pretty nice, with a cool guitar solo minutes later. "By the Crossroads" on the other hand, has a heavy and powerful feeling since the very first second and later slows down a little bit; during the song it has some minor changes that can please the listener; specially the guitar solos.

"Selebrate" and "Snakeskin" are shorter tracks which offer nice music, from melodic, symph to powerful metal. The keyboard work Is pretty nice, actually all the musicians do their job great, in fact, I believe both songs may have been longer, and better, they did not extracted all their juice. With "Sleepwalking" I even moved my head at the rhythm of the music. The keyboard bursts remind me a bit to that Metallica with orchestra concert, but well, the sound in general is listenable, and in fact, the vocals remind me now to some Devin Townsend moments, which I enjoy. Next song is "The Black Cradle" which produces a repetitive but addictive sound, then vocals appear and put some dark and chaotic sound to the music. At half the song, there's an extraordinary flute sound that again changes the mood and creates a different atmosphere.

"A Candle in the Gallery" is a shorter, different but good track, it features flute and percussion creating soft sounds, later vocals that whisper and an acoustic guitar join and continue with that soft but at the same time intriguing sound. Though the song is pretty short, in moments I actually felt bored so it seemed longer that it actually is.

And finally: "A Symphony of Shadows", with piano, flute and delicate vocals. Some changes in between appear, three seconds of heavier sound and then three of a soft one, and that same figure is repeated more times until it explodes and keeps that heavier sound at its highest. However, this song offers a lot of changes, in mood, time and tempo, which shows the compositional and musical skills of the band. I like some moments of it, in others I feel stifled.

Well, to be completely honest I was thinking of rating this album with two stars, because I tried to enjoy it for at least the first five times and failed, however I wanted to give it another chance and seems that after all I found some of its beauty, which does not mean I really like it or enjoy it. I think people who like metal will surely love this album, but for those who does not, better maintain the distance. So my final grade will be three stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 3/5 |


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